I know a Yule log isn't the easiest cake to make, but neither is it the most difficult; all that is needed is time, patience and a light hand.
The cake is is a rich, decadent and utterly delicious treat for Christmas. It makes a perfect replacement for those who don't like the rich traditional Christmas cake and, there is no reason why you can't have both, after all, it is Christmas.
- For the Swiss Roll:
- 6 large eggs
- 2/3cup (150g) sugar (caster)
- 8oz (225g) dark chocolate (60% cocoa or greater)
- For the Filling:
- 1 ½ cups (355ml) double (heavy) cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Garnish: Icing/powder sugar, chocolate sprinkles or any Christmas decorations
Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 425°F/gas 7
- Lightly grease and line a 23 x 33/ 9 x 13" Swiss Roll tin. Using a small piece of kitchen paper lightly dampened with a little vegetable oil, lightly rub the surface of the paper..
- Separate the egg yolks and whites. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a large, roomy, baking bowl with either an electric hand whisk or a hand whisk until a light, yet thick mixture is formed.
- Break the chocolate into pieces then melt with 4 tbsp water in either the microwave (take care to not overcook) or over a pan of slightly simmering, boiling water, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Add the chocolate to the egg and sugar, and stir gently.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until it forms stiff, fairly firm peaks when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. Fold one tbsp of the egg white through the chocolate sponge mixture, finally, add the remaining whisked egg whites and gently fold through.
- Spread the sponge mix into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface very, very gently with a spatula taking care to not knock out any air. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a little crisp on the top. Do not overcook or the sponge will become dry. Place the tin on a cooling rack and leave to cool.
Now for the slightly tricky bit - roll up the sponge cake
- Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper onto the work surface, quickly flip the Swiss roll tin over onto the paper and gently ease the sponge out. Peel away the paper on the sponge and tidy up any ragged edges of the cake.
- Whip the cream lightly with the vanilla extract until the the cream loosely holds its shape. Spread the cream evenly over the entire surface leaving a 2cm/3/4" margin on either of the two short sides.
- Using a small sharp knife cut a small incision 2cm /3/4" in from one of the short edges taking care not to cut right through the cake. Carefully fold this in towards the cream, then use the paper on the work surface roll the cake away from you until a log is formed. Do not worry if cracks appear on the surface, these are part of the character of a Swiss Roll.
The Yule Log Recipe can also be un-christmased and served as a Chocolate Swiss Roll